Informed Consent and Ethical Decision Making in the End of Life: Hacettepe Example

Odabasi A. B., Buken N.

TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.29, no.5, pp.1041-1054, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1041-1054
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: End-of-life decisions are among the most difficult to make or study in our country. This study compares the attitudes toward ethical decision making in the end of life and autonomy issues among academic physicians and patients of Hacettepe University Hospital outpatient clinics in Hacettepe. Our aim was to assess the opinions of physicians and patients involving the patient versus the family in the process of diagnosis disclosure and decision-making in end of life process. Material and Methods: A questionnaire, previously developed collaboratively to compare the attitudes of US, Japanese and Saudi Arabia physicians and patients, was used as the study instrument. It was translated to Turkish and was validated on a group of doctors and patients before research. Data were analyzed using SPSS V.11.5. Results: Most of physicians and patients agreed that a patient should be informed of an incurable cancer diagnosis before their family was informed. In the case of a patient with incurable cancer, 67.6% of doctors and 85.3% of patients indicated that they would rather inform the patient of the diagnosis than the family. The majority of doctors and patients were against physician-assisted suicide. Physicians and patients in Hacettepe example relied more on family and physician authority and placed less emphasis on patient autonomy. Conclusion: Family and physician opinions are accorded a larger role in clinical decision making by the physicians and patients in our university hospital. The results emphasize the need for clinicians to be aware of those issues that may affect patient and family responses potentially affecting patient satisfaction.